Last updated: 09/18/2018
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
How Bad is Fast Food Addiction?
Just like drugs or alcohol, fast food addiction is a problem in America. Addiction is a chronic brain disease, and when a person is addicted to fast food they are causing severe harm to their physical health.
According to the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, fast food is linked to obesity and Neuroimaging studies in obese people provide evidence of altered reward and tolerance in their brain. Once obese, many individuals meet the criteria for psychological dependence to fatty foods.
Not only can fast food addiction lead to a person having obesity, it is also unhealthy due to the lack of nutrients and high contents of fat in the food. If a person continues to abuse fast food they may develop high cholesterol, fatty liver disease, or they may even take years off of their life by clogging their arteries and increasing their chance of heart attack. Furthermore, fast food addiction can be costly, and when a person feels the need to eat fast food all of the time, they will be spending more money than if they were preparing their meals at home.
5 Ways to Overcome Fast Food Addiction
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a chronic disease of brain motivation, reward, memory and related circuitry. If functionality is impaired in these circuits it leads to characteristic psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is shown in an individual continually pursuing reward or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
When a person is addicted to fast food that is what they will crave and want to consume every day. In order for a person to stop a fast food addiction they should consider getting treatment, or at least involving themselves in therapy to help deal with the cravings for fast food.
Secondly, a person addicted to fast food should see a nutritionist to help them a find a way to start lessening their fast food intake. A nutritionist will work with them on finding a healthy balance, and find ways to make sure the individual in question is getting the proper nutrients they need. A third way to help a person overcome a fast food addiction, is to avoid fast food places. If a person does not drive by fast food places, or if they do not provide themselves as much access to fast food places, they may not be as tempted.
Another step a person can take to avoid eating fast food is to find the right support. Support is crucial to any person trying to overcome an addiction, and involving family and friends can significantly help a person reach their goal. The last step a person should take when overcoming a fast food addiction is to stay in therapy. Many people just go to a few sessions, and then they think they are cured, but addiction is a chronic disease, and therapy will continue to help a person deal with emotional issues, and stay strong on their road to recovery.